DescriptionThe Douglas A-1 Skyraider (formerly AD Skyraider) is an American single-seat attack aircraft that saw service between the late 1940s and early 1980s.
The Skyraider had a remarkably long and successful career; it became a piston-powered, propeller-driven anachronism in the jet age, and was nicknamed "Spad", after the French World War I fighter.
It was operated by the United States Navy (USN), the United States Marine Corps (USMC), and the United States Air Force (USAF), and also saw service with the British Royal Navy, the French Air Force, the Republic of Vietnam Air Force (RVNAF), and others. It remained in U.S. service until the early 1970s.
The low-wing monoplane design started with a Wright R-3350 Duplex-Cyclone radial engine which was later upgraded several times. Its distinctive feature was large straight wings with seven hard points apiece. The Skyraider possessed excellent low-speed maneuverability and carried a large amount of ordnance over a considerable combat radius. Further, it had a long loiter time for its size, compared to much heavier subsonic or supersonic jets. The aircraft was optimized for the ground-attack mission and was armored against ground fire in key locations, unlike faster fighters adapted to carry bombs, such as the Vought F4U Corsair or North American P-51 Mustang, which were retired by U.S. forces before the 1960s.
Number built 3,180
For more details of the design and development, operational history and 39 variants, click here.
- Crew: 1
- 38 ft 10 in (11.84 m)
- 50 ft 0.25 in (15.2464 m)
- 15 ft 8.25 in (4.7816 m)
- Wing Area:
- 400.33 sq ft (37.192 sq m)
- Wing Loading:
- 46.6 lb/sq ft (228 kg/sq m)
- Empty Weight:
- 11,968 lb (5,429 kg)
- Gross weight: 18,106 lb (8,213 kg)
- Fuel Capacity:
- 380 US gal (320 imp gal; 1,400 l) internal tanks
- 1 × Wright R-3350-26WA Duplex-Cyclone 18-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 2,700 hp (2,000 kW)
- Maximum speed: 322 mph (518 km/h, 280 kn) at 18,000 ft (5,500 m)
- Cruise Speed:
- 198 mph (319 km/h, 172 kn)
- 1,316 mi (2,118 km, 1,144 nmi)
- Rate of Climb:
- 2,850 ft/min (14.5 m/s)
- Service Ceiling:
- 28,500 ft (8,700 m)